Rhombophyllum dolabriforme (L.) Schwant.
Elkhorn Plant, Hatchet Plant
Mesembryanthemum dolabriforme, Hereroa dolabriformis, Mesembryanthemum dolabriformoides
Rhombophyllum dolabriforme is a succulent subshrub that grows up to 12 inches (30 cm) tall. Tufted when young, it slowly grows out into a densely branched mound at maturity. Leaves are upright, up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) long, and mid-green to dark green with translucent dots. Flowers are daisy-like, up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) in diameter, usually solitary, and golden yellow, often tinged with red on the back. They open in the afternoon. It blooms for many months, beginning in mid-spring.
USDA hardiness zones 10b to 11b: from 35 °F (1.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Mesembs are mostly adapted to relatively predictable rainfall patterns rather than extreme drought and irregular rainfall. Total rainfall may be extremely low, but water is available at least seasonally or through fog and condensation. This leads to or allows plants that are not especially large and sometimes very small and affects how they need to be treated in cultivation.
The basics of care are very simple: free-draining soil, plenty of sun and ventilation, and regular light watering in the right season. Yet the difficulties are endless, trying to adapt to the Mesembs' own adaptability and follow their growth habits in your particular conditions.
These plants require a loam-based compost with extra drainage material such as horticultural grit or perlite. They all like good light conditions and plenty of ventilation.
Some are relatively cold-hardy and can even survive mild winters outside. Most will survive temperatures down to the freezing point. Some Mesembs begin to grow in the fall as the temperature drops and the days get shorter.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Mesembs.
Native to South Africa (Eastern Cape).
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